Cruise 7 - Chirk Bank to Chirk Bank (revised) PontcysyllteAqueduct
1st – 6th June 2022 (5 nights)
From : Chirk Bank (Llangollen
To: Chirk Bank Llangollen
Via: Llangollen, Ellesmere and
Highlights: Chirk Aqueduct,
In a change to the scheduled trip (which was to have begun in Nantwich) we’ll have raced our way … (well as much as is possible in canal terms) up to Chirk Bank ready to collect our new guests around 1.30pm. Once safely aboard and after (our ubiquitous glass of something fizzy and an introductory blah blah), we’ll set off over Chirk Aqueduct, through Chirk Tunnel and Probably join the mid afternoon queue to cross the Pontycysyllte Aqueduct. With luck, we’ll not be at the back behind a virgin crew as we wind our way up to Llangollen basin for our first nights mooring… if we are, then so be it – we’ll still enjoy the journey as the views open out in front of us. The bosun will be dispatched on a couple of sections with walkie-talkie in hand to check the narrows are clear and hold back boats if necessary.
After a quiet night in Llangollen, we’ll depart after a reasonably early breakfast and begin our meander back down towards Trevor. If it looks quiet, we may turn left for a nosey into the basin - turning down there is very tight (if it’s windy we’ll skip that little Segway) and then head back over the Ponty and retrace our chugs back through Chirk tunnel. We’ll pass through Rhoswiel, St Martins Moor and make our way as towards Ellesemere – there are a couple of sneaky nice mooring spots along this stretch that some boats don’t spot… we’ll hope to tie up in one of them… if not available, we’ll go a bit closer to town instead.
Next morning, we’ll stop at the services in Ellesmere to fill up with water/take out rubbish and depending on larder stocks, nip up the arm to pay a visit to the supermarket at the end. Once re-stocked, we’ll turn navigate back out of the arm and turn left towards Ellesmere Tunnel and our ultimate stopping point tonight – Blakemere.
After an evening wildlife spotting over the mere, we’ll head off to the nearest winding hole and spin around. Turning a boat in this section can be interesting – especially given the amount of boating traffic (and possibility for going aground) … one plus point being if we DO get stuck, there’ll be plenty of folks around to , a) Help and b) watch and laugh… it’s all part of the fun so we don’t get too stressed about it now.
Depending on how long the acrobatics have taken, we’ll probably moor up somewhere beneath St Martins bottom lock for the night – it’s quite a pretty area and as our final day’s journey isn’t far we’ll be in no rush to get off following breakfast. It’s the captains birthday today (a big one) so he’s expecting to be well looked after (did he mention he’s a bit of an optimist on occasion?) – our aim for the final nights mooring will be as close to the Poachers pub as possible so we can have a birthday tea out.
Following breakfast (perhaps with a hungover Capt.) the following morning, we’ll untie and gently chug our way back to Chirk Bank to drop our guests off.
Ellis will be heading back up to Llangollen to clean, prep and re-stock the boat ready for the next guests who join in us a couple of days time.
Total distance is 41 miles, and 4 locks . There are 4 moveable bridges, 4 small aqueducts or underbridges and 6 tunnels (Chirk Tunnel (459 yards long), Whitehouses Tunnel (191 yards long) and Ellesmere Tunnel (87 yards long and 4 major aqueducts (Chirk Aqueduct (237 yards long) and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct (336 yards long)